Thursday, 27 September 2012

Capital One Cup: Fourth Round Draw

The newly named Capital One Cup continued this week as we saw the third round of the competition take place. This round saw the remaining seven Premier League clubs enter the fray including current holders Liverpool and Premier League winners Manchester City.

It was City though, who surprised everyone as they were beaten 4-2 at home by Aston Villa after extra time at the Etihad Stadium. Roberto Mancini fielded a strong side which included Kolo Toure, Jack Rodwell, Mario Balotelli and Carlos Tevez. It was the Italian striker that opened the scoring in the game after an excellent through pass from James Milner. It was another former Villa man in the City line up, Gareth Barry, who scored a deserved equaliser for Villa as he put through his own net after good work down the right from Andreas Weimann. An Aleksander Kolarov free kick and a Gabby Agbonlahor goal in the second half, saw the game go to extra time. It was Villa though, who took the initiative in extra time as goals from Charlies N'Zogbia and Gabby Agbonlahor gave Paul Lambert and his Villa side a surprise victory away from home.

Another shock in the third round of the competition came at Elland Road as Championship outfit Leeds United beat high flying Everton 2-1. The game was largely dominated by Leeds who could have easily scored more. They opened the scoring in the first half as Aidan White was given time and space to beautifully curl home. David Moyes fielded a strong line up which included Steven Pienaar and his side should have been level when Steven Naismith headed wide from 3 yards. Leeds effectively ended the game in the second half as midfielder Rodolph Austin flicked home after a well worked free kick from the left. A late Sylvain Distin header made an exciting end to the game but the Premier League team were unable to take the game to extra time.

Having beaten Stoke in the last round, Swindon were at it again causing another upset beating Championship team Burnley 3-1 at home. They were joined in the fourth round by Bradford, who came down from two goals down at home to Burton to win the all League Two clash 3-2 after extra time. Arsenal and Chelsea set up their Premier League clash beautifully on Saturday, as they both hit their opponents for six. The Gunners faced League One Coventry City at home and two goals for Theo Walcott and a first goal for Olivier Giroud, saw Arsene Wenger's side came out 6-1 winners. Chelsea fielded a strong side against Wolves and that was evident as they beat the Championship club 6-0 at Stamford Bridge.

Current holders of the cup Liverpool, faced a tricky tie away at West Brom who beat them on the opening day of the league season 3-0. Brendan Rogers young outfit though came away 2-1 winners thanks to two goals from Nuri Sahin. Tottenham, Southampton and Sunderland all eased past lower league opposition and were joined by Man United who came out top against Newcastle United.

As the competition progresses nicely, the fourth round draw was made immediately after the third round and threw up Chelsea v Man United in the tie of the round. Arsenal face a tough tie away at Reading, while holders Liverpool are at home to Swansea which will see Brendan Rogers come up against his former team. Aston Villas reward for beating Man City is a tricky tie away at League One Swindon Town. Bradford are the lowest league side left in the competition and will travel to Wigan, whilst Sunderland will face north east rivals Middlesbrough.

All ties will be played the week commencing the 29th October 2012.

Fourth Round Fixtures:

Sunderland v Middlesbrough
Swindon v Aston Villa
Liverpool v Swansea City
Chelsea v Man United
Wigan v Bradford City
Norwich City v Tottenham
Reading v Arsenal
Leeds v Southampton

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